22nd June 2016 at 9:56 pm #19874Suspicious1Participant
In a nutshell, this is what the “counsellor” (I’m going to use that term loosely) said during a session with me and my partner. Is it just me, or has she just given him a bundle of ammunition?:
When I commented on the fact that he focusses almost solely on his job and is glued to his phone regardless of where we are or what we’re doing in our relationship, she said “of course he’s focussed on his job. If he didn’t have a job you wouldn’t be in a relationship with him”.
When I said I felt invalidated because he constantly interrupts me and changes the focus of any conversation to himself, she said “all men do that when their partner is at home a lot. He’s not going to be interested in what you picked up at the co-up that day” (I was actually thinking of the times I’d tried to tell him about a terminally ill family member, or to talk through a work problem, for example)
When I went on to say that one of my biggest issues was that he never really listened to anything I said – if he wasn’t talking solely about himself and I tried to take a turn at talking he either fell asleep, disappeared into his phone, or interrupted to bring the conversation back to himself, she said “you’re missing the point – instead of being the controlling one, you should stop initiating conversations about what’s going on in your life and wait for him to ask you”.
When I said I wanted him to stop drinking because I believed that alcohol contributed to his drug addiction, and that it troubled me greatly that he appeared to need alcohol in order to manage his mood swings and make him less grumpy, she said “by saying that you are covertly encouraging him to drink”.
When I told her that an argument we’d had had culminated in him throwing a punch that landed inches away from where I was sitting, she turned to *him* and said “your emotions must have been overwhelming – that must have been very frightening for you”.
When I said that I felt intimidated and like I was walking on eggshells because he came home in a foul mood if the house wasn’t perfect, and started slamming doors and bashing things about if the washing up wasn’t done, she said “perhaps structure your day so you start cooking 10 minutes earlier and can finish the washing up before he gets home, or cook less complicated meals”.
When I said I was irritated at his expectation that I should mother him – that I am annoyed when he gets angry with me for forgetting to, say, pick up his coat for him, or remind him to take the things he needs with him to work, she said “yes, but that irritation must stem from something that happened in your childhood, and you need to stop bringing those things into your current relationship”.
When I said I was often reminded of my abusive marriage and could see red flags in some of his behaviours (for example his unpredictability, sense of entitlement, drug abuse etc), she said “you mustn’t bring that stuff from your last relationship into this one and you have to stop seeing abuse everywhere”.
Thank goodness even he perceived her as being one-sided and blaming me unfairly; currently he’s just as annoyed with her as I am, which is lucky because he could have used all that against me. Is it unreasonable for me not to want to go back, or open up to this woman in any way whatsoever?
22nd June 2016 at 10:22 pm #19881AyannaParticipant
Hi, what a horrible experience!
Couples’ counseling is not recommended in abusive relationships.
But this counselor has a few screws loose on top of that.
Did you consider to attend the Freedom Programme? There you meet women who are affected by abusive men too and it is all for you and you learn about unhealthy patterns in a relationship.
It will help you for life.
22nd June 2016 at 10:36 pm #19884godschildParticipant
Hi, the golden rule is NEVER got to joint councelling with an abuser, he will most likely use what she said against you at sometime, when someone I know had an affair his wife got councelling and the councelor asked if she got up early each morning to make him a packed lunch for work,in other words she said had she done that the affair would not have happened, only ever got help from people trained in DV and never with him !!!!!!xxxx
22nd June 2016 at 11:12 pm #19891Bridget Jones Is FreeParticipant
My husband wanted to book us on counselling, what he calls life coaching funnily enough…
I was at the refuge when he suggested we booked sessions, I felt totally unsure, scared and prewarned by posts on here..a no-no.
But this particular counsellor needs to retrain, better still, change profession! Quickly!!!!
23rd June 2016 at 1:09 pm #19911TuppanceParticipant
We have been to couples counselling and my lady has been really good and has helped me find a voice however, we are only going because he threatened to tell the kids, on the way to school, that I was ripping the family apart because I had asked for a separation . I have been to the counsellor on my own now a couple of times and it has helped me because I can talk freely without him there. He promised to keep conversations about us limited to the counselling sessions as he likes to involve the kids or actually doesn’t care whether they can hear it not . I don’t trust him not to try to hurt me through the kids though so the coupes counselling I am quite quiet and ‘play the game’ until I can figure out my exit . X
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